Attachment Mastery and the Confusion Caused by Detachment as a Spiritual Practice

“Be very kind to yourself as you explore early attachment.
You’re going into very tender territory.”
-Diane Poole Heller

“It is all about love!”
-Diane’s Heller’s father’s last few
words before he died


How we attach to others in the early months of our lives has a huge impact on the way we see and relate to the world. And it can set the course of our relationship behavior for the rest of our lives. Our attachment patterns have an enormous consequence for how we give and take in love. We can feel secure, anxious, dismissive or confused. Fortunately if you don’t have a secure attachment system, this early patterning can be repaired and re-wired with a modest amount of awareness, a sincere effort to do so and a capable other or therapist who can guide us through our limitations and defenses. The good news is that we are designed for secure attachment; it is inherent within us and it is our birthright.

This paper is a short summary of the four main attachment styles, the issues therapists face when working with clients, and a brief discussion of a few ideas around attachment mastery, including the confusion that the spiritual principle of detachment has caused with people with a less than secure attachment system. It is possible that when you read this, some feelings and sensations may arise so notice what comes up for you in addition to where you may agree or disagree with the content.

Read and download the full article (PDF format).